Donald Trump Slaps ‘Bloom County’ Creator with C&D [UPDATE: It’s a Hoax!]

Update #2: OK, I’m convinced. It’s a hoax. Christian Hoffer did the basic fact-checking I should have done and asked the law firm directly if the letter was real; they denied it.

Update: Have we been taken in by fake news? Uh… There’s at least one source claiming this isn’t real.

If you’re a politician, being lampooned by cartoonists is part of the deal, and even Donald Trump seems to understand that. Where he draws the line is when someone other than him might make some money from it.

Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed just posted a letter from Trump’s attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, on his Facebook and Twitter, demanding that he remove an altered image of Trump from his social media posts or (per his client’s wishes, he specifies) “we will ‘have your [redacted] in a sling by lunch.'”

Now, in this day and age, it’s hard to distinguish satire from real life, but the letter (reproduced in full below) looks pretty convincing. It states:

Berkeley Breathed Facebook post, featuring altered images of Trump and Putin wearing Bloom County shirts.

On May 21, you published images on various social media of Donald Trump in flagrantly altered photos wearing apparel featuring your artwork. Other images in past promotions have featured the President’s wife, Melania Trump. Please note that permission or release of trademark represented by Donald Trump or members of his family have not been granted, nor will they be.

Kasowitz points out that while Trump is indubitably a public figure, “he retains the rights to both his and his family’s image for the purposes of commercial exploitation and promotion.”

Who can spot the blooper in the next paragraph?

We demand that you immediately remove all such promotional imagery featuring your products “photoshopped” below the rights-protected visages of my client and his family. If these images are not immediately removed from all aspects, forms, mediums and derivations which promote or advertise your products, we will pursue equitable remedy in the form of court injunction, filed and issued from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Yori.

To use language that you might understand (per my client’s wishes) we will “have your [redacted] in a sling by lunch.”

The copyeditors in the audience already know: Trump’s lawyer, in stating a trademark claim, used “photoshop” with a lower-case P, as if it were a common noun.

Anyway, Breathed doesn’t seem to be too bent out of shape about this, since he has posted the letter on his Facebook and Twitter. Kasowitz is also helping Trump out on that Russia thing, so maybe Breathed is hoping he’ll be too busy to follow up.

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